Now that i am investing in different P2P lending platforms. I wanted to make a Viainvest review to figure out if i want to invest in the Viainvest platform, so i will do the research so you can figure it out to. Viainvest has some different aspects compared to other platforms. Since i am most interested in European P2P lending platforms, i thought Viainvest was a great platform to review.
The Viainvest review is 100% unbiased and based on my personal findings. In the Viainvest review i will give my personal opinion of their services. I will include the subjective aspects which i personally like, and the objective facts – like statistics.
Viainvest is a great, simple and easy to use platform. They are a transparent P2P lending platform, and have an 11% return on ALL loans. Viainvest has auto-invest options, they have a mobile application with all the essentials for investing in loans. However, they are also taxing on your income, due to legislation. Therefore, you might end up getting doubled taxed when you are doing your personal taxes.
- Loan types: Consumer loans
- Loan terms: 0-12 months
- Interest rate: 11%
- Auto-invest: Yes, easy to use
- Buyback guarantee: Yes
- Fees and costs: No fees
- Minimum investment: €10
- Currencies: EUR
- Secondary market: No
- Sign-up link: www.viainvest.com
What is Viainvest?
Viainvest.com is a P2P lending platform founded back in 2016. Viainvest is a P2P lending platform for private lenders to invest in loans which comes from non-banking lenders. Currently, there are over 11.000 registered investors on Viainvest. Furthermore, they offer an 11% annual return on all of their loans.
Viainvest is a part of the VIA SMS Group. On Viainvest.com they offer three different types of loans:
- Short term loans
- Installment loans
- Credit line loans
A borrower applies for a loan in the VIA SMS Group, when the applicant is accepted, the loan is published on the Viainvest platform automatically. Here investors can invest in the loans they want. There are a lot of information that you can use to evaluate what loans to invest in. The transparency on the loans are of good quality. You can see age of the borrower, country of origin, employment, loan type and even a credit score.
VIA SMS Group is active in 6 different countries. In each country there is a subsidiary, which provides loans which is posted on Viainvest P2P lending platform.
How Does Viainvest Work?
Viainvest is fundamentally built like a lot of other P2P lending platforms. However, where Viainvest is different is in the way they use internal loan originators.
Borrowers wanting an alternative to banking apply for a loan at one of the VIA SMS Group’s subsidiaries. When a subsidiary has approved the loan and made a contract, the contract is automatically mirrored on Viainvest, making it public to investors.
The lender (loan originators) are private firms owned by the VIA SMS Group. The VIA SMS Group has specialized in consumer lending. The loan originators are integrated to the Viainvest platform to reach investors willing to fund borrowers loans.
Viainvest is an intermediary platform connecting, borrowers directly to the investors. Remember, when the loan originators have made the contracts, they are automatically published on Viainvest for investors to fund loans. Viainvest provides transparent information with no service fees or platform costs.
The investors are you and me looking to earn 11% in annual interest by investing. You can fund any loans with as little as €10 per loan.
Getting Started on Viainvest
Getting started on Viainvest is a very simple process. You simply fill out the form below and you are ready. With this process you are both signed up and (almost) verified in the first step. Normally on other platforms, they will ask you to verify when you want to start investing or withdrawing. However, on Viainvest you can invest without verifying your identity first.
However, you are required to verify by uploading a picture of your passport or ID number to verify the details you signed up with, to withdraw any money.
When you are successfully registered you can join over 10.000 other investors in funding loans.
The Team and Organization
Viainvest corporate values is trust, transparency, client relationships, diversification and teamwork. 4 of these values makes a lot of sense when going through their platform. They are showing a great transparency through the investing process, with the information provided i find trust to the platform. Their business setup is built upon teamwork. I mean, there are subsidiaries all over Europe, and they are connected to the Viainvest platform to fund loans.
Furthermore, i have experienced their client relationship values. I had some questions. I wrote an email after office hours, and within 1 hour of open office i got a reply giving me a thorough answer.
However, i do not really find the diversification part of the value anywhere on the platform. I mean, from a investor point of view, there are 5 different loan originators to diversify between. Furthermore, they are only 3 types of loans.
With that being said, their lacking diversification is justified thought their other values. They should remove the diversification value, to when they actually have some real diversification.
While i have been unable to find a financial statement for Viainvest i have found a financial statement for the VIA SMS Group. The financial statement can be found here.
VIA SMS Group is a financial healthy company. Their revenue was €25 million. The bottom line profit was €3 million. This equals to a net EBIT margin of 12%, which i consider as being good. Furthermore, they managed to increase the total revenue from €20 million to €25 million from 2017 to 2018.
Furthermore their managed to increase their assets from €25 million and all the way to €36 million. With more assets there are opportunities for earning higher revenue.
Loan List on Viainvest
The loan list of Viainvest is good compared to many other platforms. At writing of this post, there where over 2500 active loans ready for funding. Which means you have the opportunity to invest in over 2500 loans.
On Viainvest there are only a primary market, with no secondary market to sell loans if you want out. However, most of the loans provided on the platform are less than a month.
In the loan list you have the option to filter based on loan originator, loan type, interest rate, loan amount, loan term and amount for investment.
When inspecting a loan you want to invest in, there are multiple information you can use to mitigate the risk.
In this particular example, the loan is of the type Credit line. The borrower is living in Latvia, Olaine and is 40 years of age. Furthermore, they have been a customer since 2013 with 40 loans.
Auto-investment Tool on Viainvest
Viainvest has a auto-investment tool like most other platforms. The auto-invest tool gives a lot of options to automate and customize your portfolio. The auto-invest is a really simple tool, and the overview is very simple as well. You can chose the loan types and loan originators you wish.
As i described previously, there is not a lot of diversification. Hence, there are no “safer” loans with a lower interest rate, and some less safe loans with high interest rates. Therefore, it is difficult to diversify for risks. The rule of thumb is: the higher the potential return, the higher the risk. With an interest rate of 11% on all loans, it can be difficult to find loans which are safer than others.
However, it can also be good. 11% interest is quite average interest rate on other platforms as well, therefore you could guess that Viainvest is in the average safety category. While there were no financial statement of Viainvest there was one for VIA SMS Group, which looked healthy. Therefore, i would assume that Viainvest is a healthy company (financially) as well.
Buyback Guarantee on Viainvest
Viainvest has buyback guarantee on a lot of their loans. The buyback guarantee is a security for you as an investor, if the borrower should default their loan. If the loan is delayed by more than 30 days, the loan originator will repurchase the loan from you.
Where ever the yellow vault is present on a loan, it means that the loan is backed by the buyback guarantee.
Viainvest has done some good incentives to mitigate the risk the investor is taking. There are three incentives which Viainvest has done to remove as much risk as possible for the investor:
- The buyback guarantee
- The 5 different loan originators
- Company setup
First, having a buyback guarantee is quite common within P2P lending platforms, however it increases the security of the investor. The second and third, having 5 different loan originators might not seem as risk mitigation. However, these 5 loan originators are owned by the same holding. This means, that if one losses money, everyone does. Therefore, i am confident that while there is no diversification like on Mintos.com, they have mitigated by only lending to people that most certainly will repay their loan.
Who Are The Loan Originators on Viainvest?
The loan originators are companies within the VIA SMS Group. They are all placed in a different countries. Viainvest’s loan originators are from Sweden, Poland, Czech Republic, Spain and Latvia. Each loan originator has a different approach to their market needs.
The Swedish loan originator has loan agreement up to €1900 whereas the Spanish offers loans up to €600. Why there is a difference i do not know, they are the experts.
Viainvest is publishing a lot of loans, likewise are they also getting funded. The graph presented is what Viainvest has published in loans. Furthermore, it is from their very start in December in 2016. The biggest month for Viainvest was in February 2019 where they published €9 million worth of loans.
Currently, there are over 11.000 investors registered on the platform. The average account size of investors is ~€3800, and an average interest rate of 10,5%.
The average interest rate of 10,5% is because Viainvest had different interest rates. However, in the start of 2019, they changed that so all investors receives 11%, no matter the loan.
Fees and Costs (Viainvest Platform Taxes?)
Everything on Viainvest is free. There is no deposit, withdrawal, management or any other kinds of costs associated with using the P2P lending platform.
Why Does Viainvest Have Taxes?
Viainvest are taking out taxes on your interest returns. The taxing on Viainvest is complicated, however to simply it for you i have made an effort to understand the topic.
First of, Viainvest is withholding tax you have made on the interest income. They say that due to the legislation from different countries they are obligated to do so.
Second, you can avoid some of the withholding taxes, so you will not be double taxed when you have to pay your own income taxes in your own country. However, not all.
Third, you cannot avoid taxes on all loans, even with a tax certification.
So, the tax on Czech loans are 15% and 19% on Spanish loans. There is no tax on Latvian, Swedish and Polish loans.
If you manage to get a tax certificate and provide it for Viainvest, you can still end up paying upwards of 10% in taxes on Czech loans. This will mean that Viainvest takes 10% for taxes to the loan origin state. Furthermore, when you have to do your personal taxes you will get taxes additional percentages depending on your country taxes/tax laws. In other words you will be paying taxes twice.
What separates Viainvest with most other P2P lending platforms is that they have an app. The app holds the essentials, like investing, auto-invest, deposits and withdrawals, account statement and portfolio overview.
The app itself are very simple. Furthermore, it only holds the essentials so there is not a clutter of unimportant things.
I enjoy seeing a platform with an app. I make the day to day of investing much easier, and you can get a quick overview of your investments without getting to a computer. This option should be on more P2P lending platforms lists.
My first impressions of Viainvest are really solid. There is nothing which standout as dumb or insecure. They have a very detailed FAQ section on their web page to answer any questions you might have. Even if you cannot find the question you are looking for you can email them and get a quick but thorough response back. That, I enjoy.
Overall an 11% return is not bad. The whole VIA SMS Group is one big lending company combined by different subsidiaries from different countries, I think they have very specialized teams around the different countries. Furthermore, as the loan originators are internal, the whole corporation has a focus on keeping the borrowers of a certain quality, so they do not default. If a loan originator from let’s say Mintos defaulted, it would not hurt Mintos just as much as it would with Viainvest. On Viainvest a defaulted loan means that they have to purchase it back themselves, rather than an external loan originator.
During the review of Viainvest, I found the tax part very weird. I do not blame them for doing their legal duties. But then again, a bigger platform like Mintos or Estateguru does not do such tax withholding on your income.
My personal opinion is that they should hire some top-notch lawyers or go together with other platforms like Mintos, Estateguru, Peerberry, Bulkestate and alike and gather some widespread consensus on this topic. If Viainvest gets big, this taxing issue could make them look like scammers trying to grab more of the income from the investors. However, i only think they are acting in their best interest.
Others Opinion: TrustPilot Reviews
Looking at Trustpilot Viainvest does not have a lot of reviews yet. However, they have a score of 7,9 currently. That is a quite high score considering the tax things. I would imagine someone being very upset about a potential double taxation.
One review says that they had a problem withdrawing money through transferwise. While I understand that we all want to use cost-effective tools, some does not always work. But as he recommends, if that is a game-breaker you can use other platforms like Mintos and Crowdestor for better returns, and then the use of transferwise. I have used transferwise to both Mintos and Swaper and know it works. So I cannot understand why it would not work to Viainvest.
During my Viainvest review, I learned a lot of different things. Viainvest is like most other platforms. However, it comes with a twist. They currently tax your income to adhere to loan origin state’s laws. While I think everyone should follow the law, I do not know why other platforms do not use taxes on income.
Despite the weird taxation, the platform is very simple and elegant to use. There is at no time you will be confused as to what you can do on the platform.
As a final conclusion, I would not invest in the platform due to the taxation. It is to complex compared to the reward. I do not want to get double taxed on an 11% annual income. But despite the taxation, I would be more than happy to make it my “safer” part of my P2P lending portfolio.
If you want to invest with Viainvest or just want to check it out, it would help me a lot if you signed up through this link (Viainvest.com). I would also be happy if you commented your thoughts about the platform in the comments.